While Mercedes launched the V222 S-Class (with the S500) earlier this year, the S350 diesel will be made available to Indian buyers with the launch set for 5th June 2014. Bookings for the diesel S-Class have already begun. We have learnt that dealers will commence official deliveries by the end of this month, i.e. even before the official launch. The S350 will generate higher volumes than the S500 since it will be priced considerably lower and it will feature most of the gizmos and goodies found the S500. The S350 will be preferred by those who are mostly chauffeur-driven while the S500 is fancied by buyers who want to enjoy the power themselves sometimes.
The Mercedes S350 BlueTec is powered by a 2987cc V6 turbocharged diesel engine. This oil-burner churns out 258 PS of power and 620 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/hr while the sprint from 0-100 km/hr will take 6.8 seconds which is quite quick. Most of the equipment will be similar to what the S500 gets but some features will be omitted. The S350 diesel will be priced at Rs. 1.25 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and the on-road price will be Rs. 1.40 crore (the A8L costs Rs. 1.445 crore).
The Mercedes S-Class competes with the Audi A8L, BMW 7-Series and Jaguar XJ-L. The Audi A8L is priced between Rs. 1.12-1.27 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and is available in the following variants – 3.0 TDI quattro, 4.2 TDI quattro and 4.0 TFSI quattro. The BMW 7-Series is priced between Rs. 1.03-1.87 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and available in the following variants – 730Ld, 750Li and 760Li. Jaguar recently started local assembly of the XJL and now it is priced from Rs. 92.10-98.69 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The XJL comes in two variants – 3.0-litre Diesel Premium Luxury and 3.0-litre Diesel Portfolio.
The Audi A8L is the most expensive car in the segment, even more expensive than the S-Class as it’s the only car which is fully imported thereby being slapped with a much higher RTO charge. Thus, even though the ex-showroom price of the A8L is lower than the S350 CDI, it ends up costing much more when it goes on-road. Clearly Jaguar and Mercedes are all set to spoil Audi’s party as the XJL undercuts the A8L massively, while the S-Class is a considerable better car than all its rivals.